Spring in my step
A long time has passed.
Long wintery days and much rain, but many good times too, braving the elements in Scotland, walking and cycling in bad weather and winter sunshine.
The best winter nights out have been my appearances at much-loved poet and musician John Hegley‘s regular monthly nights at the Betsey Trottwood in Clerkenwell. Here I have made new friends of comic songwriters Diego Jones and The Good Fairy and Bob Karper, been astounded by performance artist Andrew Bailey, and listened spellbound to singer-songwriter Victoria Hume.
The most recent Betsey night featured a visual art section, passing round images of Nice in the 1930’s by John’s father, of nearby Biot in the 1920’s by my great-grandfather Edward Wadsworth, and by my father Alexander Hollweg of Watchet in 2012. They had all painted these different seaside towns, fascinated by the shapes of the buildings and the light. John is interested in everything. You never know what is going to happen on these extraordinary evenings, and there is either much to think about or much to laugh about. I always laugh a lot.
Thanks to these nights all the songs for my new album ‘Country Girl’ have now been aired and gone down well, letting me enjoy the process of recording them with infinite help and work from my bass player husband and producer Andy Hamill.
The plan is to have it ready by the summer and release it in September, with a London album launch gig as before.
This week I am looking forward to a house-concert in Bristol, and then a gig in Aberdeen at the lovely theatre venue The Lemon Tree on Wednesday 9th April, my first in Aberdeen since supporting first Roger McGuinn of The Byrds in 2002, then Paul Carrack in 2003, both at the wonderful Aberdeen Music Hall. That seems like a lifetime ago, before the birth of my daughter and doing my first solo support slots. Exciting to be opening for such musical legends, and nerve-wracking too. Sometimes having a ball staying with old friends along the way, sometimes hard to be travelling round the UK on my own staying in cheap B&Bs. So it was lovely to arrive in Aberdeen and stay with welcoming relatives and have cheerful conversations and porridge waiting for my breakfast. I love the seafront promenade between the Dee and the Don, the bright northern light, and the Italian Washington Cafe, long owned by the family of my singing colleague Donna Canale, who make their own ice-cream.
I am also excited to have been asked to do a double bill on May 15th at the lovely Green Note in Camden, with Nashville singer-songwriter ‘Mean Mary’, who has famous fans from the American music scene. I hope to do a gig in the USA this year, possibly in New York, and am getting interested in visiting Nashville too so this seems like good timing.
Meanwhile, I am urban vegetable gardening and right now harvesting overwintered broccoli and lettuces, and planting garlic, peas, radishes and shallots.
Now I have a shallotment.